We Can Love Again

For All It's Worth

There were many things she found irresistible about Robin Hood of Locksley. Things that, after all the time she had spent with him, never ceased to be boring- like the beat of his heart. That remained a constant pleasure to her, even through all the bad, even through all the dark times. His smile was another thing- it was tricky to explain, but Regina felt as though he were challenging her, persuading her even, to become the person he knew her to be. And she loved it. She loved feeling loved.

"You know, I never asked you if you wanted a baby or not," Regina mused, glancing down at him, her arm propped against his chest. "I didn't even tell you. You just came back and... There our baby was."

Somehow, his hands found their way to her stomach, remembering all the sweet memories.

"I like surprises," Robin countered, "and it was such a good surprise. I love her more than anything. Watching her grow up, seeing you be a mother to her, it's everything I could ever ask for."

Regina smiled, resting her head back on his chest. "Well I'm glad. I don't know what I would do without you raising her with me. Same with Roland and Henry."

"We make a pretty good team. An outlaw and a queen, who knew." He cracked a grin when he recalled how hilarious it was patronizing Henry's little friend about coming to the wedding with him. Knowing how sensitive it would be telling his fiancé about their son's potential girlfriend, Robin decided to keep it on the down low- at least until the wedding was over.

"But I don't understand why Roland is so upset. He won't talk to me about it. I'm assuming he knows..."

"Honey, if you're not going to change your mind about the situation, you can't expect him to be happy about it." He answered bluntly. He had accepted the fact that she was entitled to her own opinion, although the consequences would probably be long lasting.

"I just wish he would talk to me. If he's sad for the wedding, I don't know I'll do."

Keeping his arms wrapped around her body securely, Robin glanced up at the ceiling. "How can he be sad during our wedding? You worry too much."

Perhaps he was right, maybe be one day he would get past it. But her heart was still heavy with concern.

"We can talk to him more about it here in a moment if you want. Granny's getting back to me about food, Ruby's coming over for last minute practice with the boys, and Killian just texted me to say that Emma wants to start moving in with him today. So... Big day."

Regina groaned, her voice muffled by his shirt. "Can't we just stay in bed all day?"

"Let's get married first."

Meanwhile, at the bed and breakfast, Neal seemed to be doing a thousand things at once- stress was attacking him from all sides; Tink was coming over for yet another breakfast date, and he was far from ready. This date was going to be different from the rest of them, though. Neal had made up his mind; before the royal wedding, (as everyone in town was calling it) he was going to tell the fairy how he felt about her.

Although he wasn't the best chef in the world, Neal tried to do as best he could to make a decent breakfast. His stress was directing towards his cooking, resulting in five cooked sausages, scrambled eggs, and an attempt at an omelet. Neal was so caught up in making sure everything was perfect, he didn't take any notice to Tinkerbell coming through the apartment door.

Glancing about the area around her, the blonde smiled when she saw Neal hard at work in the kitchen.

"Finally trying breakfast on your own for a chance?" She asked, enjoying the surprised look on his face.

"Yeah, thought I'd try. Maybe I can make sausage as good as Granny can, you never know." He explained, gesturing with a wooden spoon in his hand. "You ready to have the best breakfast ever?"

The woman smiled. "Definitely."

Truthfully, it was the best breakfast she had ever had. Tink felt so comfortable around Neal- she was still getting used to Storybrooke, and he had been there to help her.

Naturally, she was somewhat of an introverted person. But, when she was with him, she felt like a completely different person. Since she had given up trying to assist Regina with the wedding, there was quite a lot of free time for her to have.

"So has Henry enjoyed his weekend over here?" She asked, finishing off her glass of milk.

Neal broke into a smile. "It went pretty well. I've been working on putting shelves up on his wall, and he helped. We spent most of Sunday practicing groomsmen stuff. How's all the bridesmaid stuff going? Is it awkward at all with Ruby?"

Letting out a dry laugh, the fairy nodded. "They won't even make eye contact. It's so awkward. How this wedding will even happen is beyond me, don't tell Regina that."

The two of them were both over their heads in preparing for the wedding- everyone was. While it was hard work, seeing Robin and Regina happy and excited was rewarding enough.

"I'm just glad Roland's okay. Can you imagine how horrible things would be if he didn't make it?"

Even though Regina wasn't the queen anymore, she still continued to be the center of life in Storybrooke. So many people cared about their well being and their happiness.

"Everything would be a mess," the blonde admitted, smiling as Neal offered to take her empty plate. "I'm just so happy he's alright so they can finally get married."

"Well everyone deserves a happy ending- that's the one thing I've learned from them. If they can do it, everyone can." He said, piling dishes into the sink. "Do you want to down on the couch?"

Smoothing her hands over her jeans, Tinkerbell gave him a concerned look. "Are you sure you don't want to you to help clean up?"

Neal shook his head. "I'll do it later. We never get any time with each other anymore, I'm going to take this moment for all it's worth."

There was no way she could deny that- so she denied the urge to clean and retired herself to his small black couch, Neal immediately following.

"So, are you excited for Robin's bachelor party?" She asked, pulling her legs up to her chest.

"Well you know the guys, it'll definitely be interesting. What about Regina, is she planning something for Friday night too?"

The woman chuckled. "Oh definitely. She just won't tell any of us what it is."

There was a silence between them; Neal just had to take a moment to admire not only the fact that she was in his apartment, but also that she had given him a chance.

"What?" She asked inquisitively, lost in his continuous stare.

Neal had to shake his head a bit to knock him out of his state. "You're- you're just so beautiful, that's all."

His words caused her to blush, and she felt something flutter in her stomach.

"Neal, you're too sweet," the blonde noted, soon finding herself resting her body against his. It wasn't her actions at all; she didn't know who's it was. It also surprised her when she caught the look in his eyes, a look of pure trust as he began to lean in; she didn't do anything to stop him as his lips connected with hers, creating a feeling she had never felt before. It was hard to decide if she liked the feeling or not, but it was something new, something exciting and daring. But that kiss opened a huge door for her, and beyond that door was love and a relationship, and that caused a nervousness inside of her.

"Neal," she breathed, pulling away and looking at him with widened eyes. "I- I can't do this."

The man's look of bliss quickly turned into confusion. "What? Why?"

She looked as if she were about to cry. "Because I can't love, I just can't. I told Regina I would stay for her wedding, but that's it. I have to go back to the Enchanted Forest, Neal. I have duties-"

"You're not tied down to being a fairy, you have the power to do whatever you want with your life!" Neal persisted, so shocked he could barely formulate his words.

"I am a fairy- it's what I'm supposed to do. I can't just go off and be someone I'm not. I'll loose my wings, and I can't loose them again..."

Anger flashed through his expression in a sudden motion. He thought everything was fine, his life going in a good direction for the first time in forever. But she managed to turn things around in a split second, breaking all the delicate trust he had begun to build up again.

"So you just decided to lead me on this whole time? You knew you were going back, and you never wanted to tell me? I have feelings for you! I never thought I could have those feelings again, but I did!"

The blonde held back her tears as she shook her head. "I'm so sorry... I never expected this to happen. Fairies can't love- we're not meant to."

"What about the wedding?" Neal demanded, "we're supposed to go together. Are we just going to pretend we don't know each other?"

It took a lot to look him in the eyes and see the wounded look on his face.

"Of course not. We can have that last moment together."

He thought for a long, hard moment. "I just can't do this- I was so in love with Emma! Seeing her with Killian , watching them move in with each other and have a happy ending... It's all too much. If I don't have you, there's nothing more this town has to offer for me. I love Henry, and things with my dad are getting better. But I can't stay. Sure we can try and have a good time at the wedding together- but you won't be the only one saying goodbye."

Her heart sank to a new low. A part of her wanted to stay with him, to write her own destiny, to love him for all he was worth. But she just couldn't do it.

"I know you'll find someone out there who will love you as much as you deserve to be loved," she said, with all the honesty in the world. "You can be happy, I promise."

He had a life ahead of him, he had everything he needed for a good life. And she was jealous about that, as much as she wanted to deny it. But life had another course for her to take, and she had to accept that.

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